Actress Jessica Nkosi (Qondi) on life after leaving Isibaya


Actress Jessica Nkosi is looking forward to a new chapter in her life after leaving Isibaya

FOR years she was known as the quiet Qondi in Isibaya who lived a true Cinderella story, going from being a tea server to being the queen. Now, after seven years, she’s shedding the persona and taking on a new exciting role. Jessica Nkosi is one of the new faces joining the Mzansi Magic telenovela The Queen.

Jessica (30) tells us it wasn’t easy to leave Isibaya. “I feel some type of way about leaving Qondi behind. It most certainly wasn’t easy. She was the first character I ever played and Isibaya was the very first production I was a part of. It was my big break.

“Isibaya shaped and moulded me, it’s where I grew as a person, as an artist and as a professional.”


While some people have had to slow things down this year due to Covid-19, Jessica’s been busy. Ferguson Films announced she’s one of the stars joining its set when season 5 of The Queen hits screens.

She couldn’t be more excited. “It was really hard to leave Qondi, but it has always been my dream to explore other characters. I really don’t like to be typecast – and this is how we evolve as actors,” she says.

Jessica wants to explore as many characters as possible, she told Move!’s sister magazine DRUM in a previous interview. “I have a list of the characters I want to play. I’m not even close to completing my list. I want to play a superhero; I want to play the villain who kills everybody; I want to play the druggy on the street; I even want to play a man. I want to be able to gain

weight to play a certain character. I always think of Charlize Theron who gained weight to be in Monster, and I’m like, that’s what I want to do,” she said.

In The Queen, Jessica will play Lerato Sebata – a character she says is the opposite of Qondi, the sweet and lovable heroine queen who went from serving tea to being served.

“Lerato is like no other character I’ve played before, which is beautifully challenging and nerve-racking at the same time. I’m so nervous but I try to understand her character biography and family background more every day,” Jessica says.


She just celebrated her second Mother’s Day, which she doesn’t take for granted. It’s a big deal for her. “I always make sure I spend the day with my daughter. Smothering her with kisses all day long.”

Being a mom has taught the actress to make sure she’s always at peace, happy and fulfilled, so she can be a great mother to her daughter, Namisa Dlamini. “She joins me in my room every morning and we sit together.

“Lately she’s loving writing in her notebook. As I write in my journal she’s busy writing on everything, including my bedding,” she says with a laugh.

“I’m instilling in her a life of knowing God and prayer. We pray together in the evening as a family, we do praise and worship and she sings along. It’s the cutest thing. Since we can’t be in church we to try have church at home.”

Last year Jessica split from the father of her child, actor Ntokozo Dlamini who played Mastermind in the drama series Uzalo. Months later a video of the duo having a good time at a concert in Durban raised eyebrows and left fans thinking the pair may have patched things up.

But Jessica wouldn’t confirm nor deny the rumours. “She definitely keeps her private life private,” her manager said at the time.


The country has been on lockdown since March and Jessica misses life as we knew it. “I miss work. I love what I do,” she says.

Like many others who’ve been housebound, Jessica has been cooking up a storm. “I’m cooking more often and realising that I’m actually a really good cook. I’ve been making delicious meals,” she says. Breakfast and dinner are her favourite meals of the day. “I’m definitely eating more.” Jessica says for her daughter, the lockdown has meant a drastic schedule change. “A lot has changed, she’s h ’ no longer going to school. So that was a drastic change,” she says.

“We play educational games daily and her school sends activities for us to do weekly. So that helps a lot.” Nami also loves the outdoors. “Playtime with Nami is singing and playing outside, she loves being outside and doing weekly activities that her school requires. They’re always fun.”

She’s also created a daily routine for herself. “I wake up early because I have a child. So between 6am and 6.30am I am up. Then I say a prayer and read my daily devotional,” Jessica says.


She’s mostly been stuck indoors like the rest of the country, so she’s been spending a lot of time watching TV.

“I’m watching a lot of shows on Netflix – Blood & Water, Riverdale, Money Heist, 13 Reasons Why, Queen of the South and so many more,” she says.

The lockdown also meant she had to postpone a trip to Sweden, which was scheduled for May. The trip was a birthday gift from Volvo, the car brand she’s an ambassador for. She says that’s the first thing she’s going to do when life finally returns to normalcy. “I was really looking forward to that.”

Even during lockdown, including working from home, Jessica is looking on the bright side. “Every job I get I do exceedingly well. I make the best out of this whole situation and am thankful I’m still able to work and continue to do what I love,” she says.

“For me, acting is really a form of therapy. It’s therapeutic to me to use my body to play another character. I enjoy becoming someone else and giving it my all. This is what I love doing and I certainly miss it.”

Jessica says focus is important, which is what she would tell young girls who want to follow in her footsteps.

“Pay attention to what you love doing and what you are good at. God has given us all gifts and talents and those will make us soar and live our lives to the fullest.

“Always push for what you believe in, run towards your dreams without fear, even if there is fear, push through it. Success will come.”

– Move


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